jump to example.com

[Ed. Note: This post originally featured a photo of Flickr user “Gomez Addams'” shop — a well-designed, home-built workbench next to a floor-standing drill press and a furniture-grade chest-of-drawers converted for tool storage. We received an email from Bill Lemieux, “Gomez Addams,” notifying us that he is the owner of the photo, letting us know that we have no right to post it, and asking us to remove it. (Besides emailing us today, he also posted a copy of his notice in comments.)

We’ve used hundreds of Flickr photos on Toolmonger, and you can see from perusing past posts that we’re careful to use CC-licensed “commercial” photos and credit the original owner. But Bill’s right: we missed the fact that his photo, while shared in the Toolmonger pool, was still marked “All Rights Reserved.” So at his request we’ve removed it.

I do however, disagree that our usage of Bill’s photo with its associated kind words below was “rude.”]

No two shops are alike — they’re as unique as the people who use them. Just take a look at someone’s shop and you can learn a lot about them. For instance, reader Gomez Addams’ badass collection of metalworking gear (including Igor the mill) gives us some insight into the kinds of projects he takes on.

We dig this pic of his bench just because it’s something very much like we might do — clean, functional, and loaded up with gear, but in a good way. This is a man with stuff to do and no time for chrome-plated shop storage.

Also, hats off and beers up to the tool dresser in the back — nice.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


46 Responses to Reader Shops: Gomez Addams’ Shop

  1. russ says:

    Like the brackets on your workbench.

  2. Scott says:

    When I read the name, I really wanted to see the train set-up. No doubt all of the metalworking gear is used to rebuild things after spectacular head-on collisions.

    More photos, please!

  3. Bill Lemieux says:

    I’m Bill “Gomez Addams” Lemieux, the owner of this photo.

    While I’m pleased that people liked the shots of my shop, you seem to misunderstand something about Flickr and copyright.

    Just because I added my photos to the Flickr group “toolmonger” does NOT grant you the right to use those photos elsewhere, ie; on your website – without asking first. A) it’s rude, and B) it violate copyright.

    Please note the copyright information posted on flickr with each of these photos, namely, “all rights reserved”. I never ceases to amaze me how few people seem to understand how copyright works.

    So, if you’d asked first, I’d probably have said, “sure, why not?”

    But since you didn’t ask, I’m going to ask you to remove my photo(s) from the Toolmonger website immediately. I will be removing my photos from the toolmonger Flickr group as well, and will leave said group.

    Naughty, naughty. I shake my finger at you.

  4. Chris says:


    I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure the use of this photo falls well within “fair use” criteria.

    Also, get a life. You can’t possibly think there’s any viable commercial value in that photo, so why, exactly, do you care (not that it matters; see “fair use” above) what someone else does with it?

    You, sir, are a douche-canoe of the highest calibre imaginable.


  5. Quinn says:

    You may well be right about copyright, and if you demand it, Toolmonger probably ought to remove your photos, but the sad thing is no one is going to miss your little shop anyway. You come off as being exceptionally ungenerous, but that’s you’re right, I’m glad you’re not my neighbor.

  6. Coach James says:

    Ahem. Well, the photo has ben removed so western civilization has been saved. I understand the pic was copyrighted, but I don’t get why someone would be so concerned about a pic of his home shop.

  7. @Bill while I respect your decision to copyright and I think that you have a cool shop, I have to ask what did you think would happen by sharing your photo in the Toolmonger Flickr pool?

    You obviously spent some time thinking about choosing a license for you photo, then you voluntarily sent it to the Toolmonger Pool. If you’ve even read this blog for a week you know stuff in the pool regularly gets posted on the blog.

    Although Sean made an honest mistake, I think you share some of the fault and should have handled it differently.


    That said is there any way to reject photos that are “All rights reserved” in the Flickr Pool?

  8. KMR says:

    Wow, what a first rate dick.

  9. Zathrus says:


    IANAL either, but I have taken several copyright courses. No, this is not “fair use” since it’s ostensibly being used for commercial use (ToolMonger isn’t a non-profit, and does sell ad space.

    That said, some of the responsibility should be placed on Gomez, since the pool is associated with the website and there’s a long standing practice of posting pictures from the pool to the main website for the purpose of commentary.

    I don’t know of a way, and couldn’t find out from a quick Google search or looking at Flickr’s FAQ. But I don’t use Flickr either. One thing of note is that all photos are copyright by default (which is the legally correct method), and you have to opt for a CC license if you want.

    I agree, you’re a dick. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Yet another example of why copyright and other IP law is hideously broken in the digital age.

  10. Mike47 says:

    That shop wasn’t that great anyway. No loss. There are lot of shop owners out there willing to show what they have just for the glory of a little recognition. Just leave the whining children alone with their precious (“It’s mine and you can’t have it!”) pictures. We don’t need them. Jez, if he’s so worried about copyrights, why post the pictures on a public network?

  11. Pencilneck says:

    And so there is a right way to request a photo not to be used, and then there is Bill’s way. Was it worth it?

  12. txinkman says:

    Since Gomez (and I can only conjure up the image of the Addams Family pariarch) took the trouble to post his photo on Flickr and then additionally made the effort to post it to the Toolmonger group you might suppose, if you were in least bit rational, that he had some intentions, however dim, of sharing the image of his sad little hobby area.

    But evidently not. What an arrogant putz.

  13. @Zathrus Crap you’re right. I just looked and my photos are all all rights reserved. Guess I should go with the president and cll Toolmonger on the carpet for using my photos 🙂

    I’m going to change my copyright on my photos right now.

  14. Make that “the precedent and call”….

  15. KevinB says:

    that post read like a letter from the Tool Nazi, “you go now, no tool shop photo for you!”.

  16. Jerry says:

    The shop was mediocre anyway and probably wasn’t even his own shop. He probably shot someone elses shop, claimed some copyright on the photo but likely didn’t get permission from the shop owner. The shop was mediocre as was the amateurish photography. Maybe Gomez realized the shop was crap, the photo was crap and added his crap attitude to the mix. Climb into the train and ride it out when it crashes Gomez. You will not be missed. Your email should have said “thanks for putting my little picture on your fine site!”

  17. jim says:

    Whadda Jerk! I refused to go look for the photo now because I don’t want to have anything to do with the guy.

    Kudos to TM for their professionalism in handling the jerk.

    Now everyone go look at MY shop!


    (Sorry – not much to look at…)

  18. Ray says:

    What KMR said.

  19. gumball says:

    Gomez kiss my grits and keep your damn photo.

  20. Simple Simon says:

    No law will change one fact, this guy is a dick.

  21. R says:

    What a first class jerk

  22. Chris says:

    @Zathrus: Because the photo was being used at a very reduced resolution (and thus not really equivalent to the original “work”; it’s the photo equivalent of a literary excerpt, in a way) and because it was being used for the purposes of commentary, I think fair use would apply here, regardless of whether the commentary was on a commercial site or not. You can’t claim copyright violation when someone quotes a few paragraphs of a written work as part of a literary criticism, nor can you claim copyright violation if someone includes a photograph of a piece of artwork in a textbook of art criticism.


  23. Bill Lemieux says:

    Well, the reactions here really disappoint me, but confirm two things for me:

    1) consideration for other people’s rights (or just considerate behavior in general) is a dead concept;

    2) very few people on the internet understand copyright. According to some commenters here (ie; “what did you think would happen”), it would seem that if you found it on the internet, anything goes. I’ve never read this blog before this week, a friend pointed out the blog post via email.

    Yes I’m familiar with “Fair Use” doctrine, but when someone states “all rights reserved” that pretty much trumps “Fair Use”, full stop.

    The ad hominem attacks on my character add a real touch of class to the site and comments.

    I might add that I’m astonished at the insight into my personality that the readers here were able to glean from my request.

  24. Zathrus says:

    Yes I’m familiar with “Fair Use” doctrine, but when someone states “all rights reserved” that pretty much trumps “Fair Use”, full stop.

    No. Absolutely not.

    What on earth do you think “fair use” rights are all about anyway? They’re so that copyrighted works can be used without the owner’s permission in appropriate places.

    In fact, given Chris’s observation about it being a reduced version, and the other points of the fair use doctrine, I suspect that TM was wholly within legal limits to post it and comment upon it.

    The post was made for commentary/criticism/teaching purposes. TM was not trying to profit off of it, even though they have ads, but this is the most debatable point. The nature of the work is that it has no commercial value, it was posted in a reduced resolution format, and there was no harm upon the potential market value of the work.

    That means it was used properly under the fair use doctrine, and while you could take TM to court over it, you’d probably lose. And TM — I suspect that the EFF would happily take up the court case for you if it had come to that.

    very few people on the internet understand copyright

    Well that, at least, is correct. Unfortunately you’re included in that group. I do know copyright, and it’s part of my job to know it.

  25. Gomez Addams says:

    Zathrus, if you’re a copyright attorney or expert, then you must be aware that there is no consensus on the degree an image must be resized, reduced in resolution, or cropped in order to meet the “amount and substantiality of the portion used” test set forth in Section 107 of Title 17 USC.

    It is because there is so much debate over that litmus test that the U.S. Copyright Office’s advisory publication FL-102 states:

    “The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”


    “The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.”

    I thought my request was respectful under the circumstances. But the reaction I’ve seen on this page has been anything but. With one breath, the community says my photo wasn’t important (I happen to agree, as far as that statement goes – this debate wasn’t about the _content_ of the image at all) and I shouldn’t be up in arms about it.

    And yet it’s apparently important enough to generate a lot of negative emotion – so much so that people feel justified in descending to high school level name calling.

    If I were as big a “douche”, “jerk”, etc, I’d simply have filed a DMCA takedown demand with the hosting ISP. And as we all know, most ISPs don’t bother debating or looking into the facts when they receive a DMCA takedown demand, they just come down (often unfairly) on the webmaster. THAT would have been a jerk move.

    Well, I’m done debating this. You folks go ahead and believe whatever you want about what is right and proper – clearly it is only your interpretation of the letter of the law which matters.

    I do hope the rabid insult-slingers here keep more civil tongues in their heads when they talk to people in meatspace than they do when hiding behind the supposed safety of their keyboards. It never ceases to amaze me what people will say to a stranger on the internet that they would never dare say in person.

  26. @Bill

    “I thought my request was respectful under the circumstances.”

    Your request might have been respectful, but you didn’t stop there you made comments here and on the flikr pool that insighted this barrage of comments in the first place.

    “very few people on the internet understand copyright. According to some commenters here (ie; “what did you think would happen”), it would seem that if you found it on the internet, anything goes. I’ve never read this blog before this week, a friend pointed out the blog post via email.”

    1) Why would you post you photo to a group you knew nothing about? I stand by my comment. I’m talking about common sense, damn the legality. You did post the photo to the group without doing your research. there’s a lesson for us all here.

    2) I disagree that few people on the internet understand copyright, I think people have a pretty good feel for whats right and wrong without necessarily being able to verbalize it. They comments you made didn’t meet people’s expectations about how a reasonable person would have handled this situation and that’s where the outrage came from.

  27. BrianD says:

    Now I have to go home and take pictures of my shop to put on Flickr with a CC license. Thanks for the inspiration, Gomez!

  28. thevince says:

    I use Flickr a whole lot, and I guess I’m one of those who chooses the license carefully. While most of my pictures are CC-licensed (especially those of my meager projects – I’d like to share them and have them linked to by toolmonger!), pictures with faces on them (mine and my family) are “all rights reserved”.

    Why? In recent memory, there was this whole debacle with some company making up ads from kid’s pictures on Flickr:
    So having properly licensed photos shared on sites like Flickr for me is important 🙂

    but anyways, I agree 100% with @Pencilneck. There had to be better ways to request something without being so self-righteous…

  29. Shopmonger says:

    Bill “Gomez” you must understand the purpose of a site or its member before you go quoting law.

    TM did not use this for any commercial gain, nor is there any commercial value in a photo that is posted on a “open” site like flikr…..

    as as stated before…..

    I just come here for the tools.

    As for shop pics….

    I am working on mine for flikr…

    thats right the Shopmonger Shop will be revield….. Sean you can post, modify, deface, crap on, any picture that I post.

    Peace to all and thank god for a FREE country.

    p.s. long weekend the water heater crapped out so i spent sunday re-piping my new water heater…

    but it is nice 80 gallons of hot (controllable) water…..

  30. Zathrus says:

    nor is there any commercial value in a photo that is posted on a “open” site like flikr

    A rather large number of pros who make substantial income off photos posted on Flickr would like to disagree.

    But, again, this pic had no commercial value.

  31. russ says:

    If you wish to post something to the site you need to read their TOS and other policies. The same goes if you move something from the site. If you read “About Flickr” the whole point of Flickr (in the First Paragraph) is to … “to push them out in as many ways as possible: on the Flickr website, in RSS feeds, by email, by posting to outside blogs or ways we haven’t thought of yet.” Note it reads “outside blogs”.

    The owner of the content has every right to remove them as does the website itself.

    I have found material on websites taken from other websites and provided as their own. I have notified them and so should others. Both were a business (small one man business’s). It is common but it doesn’t make it right.

    I don’t think this blog had any bad intentions, in fact it was giving full credit. Next you should read about the website before you post to it. What is the purpose of the website? What does it do?

    Negligence is a two way street.

    I still like the brackets.

  32. Ted says:

    Hello all, as someone who has made a living selling images for publication in the past I’m going to have to come down firmly on the side of Bill Lemieux — a large proportion of internet users are tragically ignorant of copyright law and a slightly smaller group are fully aware and don’t care.

    The average MP3 downloading Bit Torrent addicted freeloader couldn’t care less about the devaluation of intellectual property or the direct affect it has on the ability of individuals to make an honest living in the arts.

    Berating Bill because he has politely asked for his rights to be respected is highly disrespectful and frankly, offensive. It appears to have been an honest mistake on the behalf the TM staff and ought to be resolved simply without name-calling.


  33. Chris says:

    Ted: Congrats on missing the whole point; namely, that this was fair use and perfectly OK within the existing framework of copyright law. Bill asked, in a very rude manner, that Toolmonger respect rights that he doesn’t even have. That’s quite deserving of ridicule.

    Whether or not some large percentage of Internet users don’t understand this is completely orthogonal to the question. I hear the Wizard of Oz is handing out extra brains. Maybe your MP3-downloading-Bit-Torrent-addicted-freeloader straw man would like some?


  34. Ted says:

    Chris, go here:


    and read carefully.

    You’re throwing around “fair use” like it’s an absolute, it’s not, especially for commercial entities such as Toolmonger. Were you to post a thumbnail of Bill’s image linking back to his original placement in the Flickr pool you would be correct.

    As the copyright holder, Bill has a lot of rights to control how his image is published.

    “Naughty, naughty. I shake my finger at you.” is a lot less douchy than threatening to sue you, which he is well within his rights to do.

    And, for what it’s worth, while I must bow to your superior critical skills and judgment, I must point out that “You can’t possibly think there’s any viable commercial value in that photo, so why, exactly, do you care (not that it matters; see “fair use” above) what someone else does with it?” is not a valid defense against copyright infringement either, it’s also not a terribly nice thing to say.

    Cheers, Ted

  35. David Bryan says:

    You ain’t always going to agree with everybody, and when you don’t, it don’t make you a bad feller.

  36. Galen says:

    I’m a long time toolmonger reader and all I can say is… What a bunch of pricks!!

    Sean made (I believe) an honest mistake. Gomez notified him of that in what really was a tongue and cheek way. Sean admitted the problem and, correctly, took the photo down and let people know.

    Now the bunch of you attack Gomez and try to justify copyright infringement??? It doesn’t matter if Gomez distributes for gain or not. Its HIS photo. He placed it online WITH THE TRADITIONAL “ALL RIGHTS RESERVED” LICENSE!

    As Ted points out, “fair use” is NOT and absolute. I don’t know what the photo above originally looked like but Gomez felt it was not fair use. And Sean obviously agreed with him and took the photo down. Case closed.

    Sean, none of this is aimed at you. It’s aimed at the majority of posters here who are “douche-canoe’s of the highest calibre imaginable”!

  37. KMR says:

    I’m actually on G.Addams’ side regarding the copyright infringement of his image. I have a problem with the delivery of his message.

    He would never have been called any names had he not displayed an elitist judgmental attitude in his initial comments post. There isn’t even a reason to post anything in the comments, when the Toolmonger blog has a very easy to find “Contact Us” link to reach the blog maintainers. Rather than simply dealing with it behind the scenes, G.Addams condemned the toolmonger community as a whole for a relatively minor error on the part of the blog authors… earning him the criticism he received.

  38. Blind says:

    if you are going to point people at the documentation on the web regarding Fair Use, at least point them to the actual appropriate Copyright office (http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html) and not to wikipedia (which may or may not be accurate depending on the hour of the day)

    Frankly, seems to fall under fair use to me, but what do I know. The copyright holders been doing a fine job of destroying fair use over the last 15 years anyhow.

  39. Ted says:


    There are a couple of reasons for citing WikiPedia, first it tends to be written in plain English, therefore easier for the layman to understand, second in a “common law” country, such as the United States, law is an evolving entity, each new judgment shapes the way laws are applied in future cases, WikiPedia isn’t a definitive source but has a better chance of being current than a direct citation of statute.

    As for copyright holders destroying fair use — it’s a bit of a tug of war, if you don’t defend rights, you lose them. Take a look at the photocopied “course packs” that were chewing up textbook publishers profits a few years back, one might argue that the evil corporate giants “had it coming” (a fallacy IMO), an argument that ignores the “little guy” writers and photographers who wrote and illustrated the books.

    The net is a wonderful thing, the so-called “death of copyright” is not — if there is no way to get paid for being creative there is very little incentive to be creative.

    Cheers, Ted

  40. _Jon says:

    Google recently won a court case where they were sued for using small images from websites in their search results. That is a Fair Use ruling that directly relates to this type of situation – a website that uses ad revenue based upon information and images on other website. We can debate our own personal definitions of “fair use” and “copyright” all day. A US Court has made a decision and it is binding. If one doesn’t like the rules of the internet, then one has a choice to not put their images there.

    Mr. “Lemieux / Addams” was rude. I am fairly certain that a private e-mail would have resolved the issue with no drama. Based upon what I’ve seen here and elsewhere, he looks for these types of confrontations. He probably enjoys the attention. There are ways to handle issues discretely and that wasn’t done. He had to have looked into referrer logs to know that the image had been linked.

    I’d bet that Ted is a sock-puppet or a fan-boy.

  41. David Bryan says:

    I waste too much time looking at the internet to have any left for getting mad at people who’ll never hurt me one way or the other.

  42. Shopmonger says:

    The sad part is that “Gomez” does not understand “comunity” and with that, he cannot ever understand what “true” tools guys have in common. I will loan any tool I own to anyone to get a job done. That is the spirit of toolmonger. Let alone a picture……
    I hope that he never leaves his garage door open because then someone might see it or take a picture from off his property and oh boy what a fiasco that might be……

    Again, spirit of giving….. Call any time you need help……..

    Shopmonger will be there

  43. Ted says:

    “I’d bet that Ted is a sock-puppet or a fan-boy.”

    Sorry to disappoint Jon, Ted is my real name, I am a real photographer, I’ve neither met nor spoken to Mr Gomez/Lemieux.

    I am a bit of a copyright zealot, and, admittedly, I do like to argue with proponents of internet thievery — it may be tilting at windmills, but everyone needs a hobby.

    In my mind the true sock puppets here are the “pile-on” types who all jumped in to condemn Mr Lemieux like a bunch of internet sheep. Net-thuggery in the guise of “community” is just sad.

    YMMV, Ted

  44. PutnamEco says:

    Ted Says:
    I am a bit of a copyright zealot, and, admittedly, I do like to argue with proponents of internet thievery — it may be tilting at windmills, but everyone needs a hobby.
    So, I’m sure you got permission from ASCAP or the Harry Fox Agency, the last time you sang Happy Birthday.

  45. Chris says:

    Ted: there you go again, calling all of us who are believe — supported by legal precedent — that this is fair use “thieves.” I’m sure that’s really helping to get your point across. Keep it up. Excellent work. I’d like to see you tell the judge who presided over the Google case that he’s a “proponent of Internet thievery”.

    When you’re done making ridiculous straw man and ad hominem arguments, please let the rest of us know.


  46. Chuck Cage says:


    We’ve been so busy putting out the next day’s TM content every day that we haven’t really been keeping an eye on all the comments here. Doh!

    Just to give you my $0.02:

    It’s our policy not to use “All Rights Reserved” photos without permission. We just accidentally missed one. And regardless of any fair use rights we might fall under, it’s not our desire to fight with anyone to feature their project or shop. These are meant to be happy moments drawing attention to the creativity and work of our awesome readers. Honestly, if we received a request from someone whose CC-commercial-licensed photo of shop/project we’d legally featured asking us to remove it, we’d likely remove it. There are over 5,600 posts on TM, and removing the one won’t hurt us or readers, especially if it’s causing grief for someone.

    That said, we’ve had exactly two requests to remove photos/posts since we launched. One was about a year ago and involved our fully-legal use of publicly-released photos and descriptions of a commercial tool. While our legal staff assured us we were in the right, we thought “what right-minded person would want to remove a post with a positive spin on their product?” and removed it anyway. The second was this one. We’d have removed the post as well as the photo, but there were already comments on it so we left it alone and added the photo description so it’d make sense.

    Of course TM readers may take it personally when someone publicly says “I don’t want to be a part of your community anymore.” No one benefits from the following nastiness, so the far-and-away easiest way to make such a request is to email us via our contact form and let us know what’s up. We try (and succeed, I believe) to respond to such issues quickly and reasonably, and we can help determine the best action to make things right with the minimum grief for all parties.

    Regarding “DMCA takedown notices” and ISPs, it’s worth noting that sites like TM draw tremendous bandwidth (ouch, my wallet!) and are generally hosted with better-than-average hosting services. (We love ours, BTW, and would happily recommend it to anyone.) If an individual (or anyone) sent legal notice of any kind to our ISP, they’d contact us to discuss, and we’d take appropriate action. No one is going to “come down hard” on anyone — at least in our case — because we’re all real people with real business relationships that act accordingly and reasonably.

    All said, I’m going to go ahead and close the comments on this post so we can move on to more tool-related fun, like Txinkman’s sweet toolbox restoration or the talented Jmillerid’s shop buddy, Jeff.